By Our reporter
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board ( NCDMB), Engineer Simbi Wabote, has said that the recently launched 200 million dollars Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) is targeted at deepening local content participation in the Oil and Gas industry in the country.
Engineer Wabote disclosed this in an interactive session with journalists, at the corporate headquarters of the Board in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital Monday.
According to him, as part of the Biard’s Ten -year strategic plan, it hopes to create over 3,000 jobs in the country including indirect employment.
The Executive Secretary explained that since the Local Content Act was enacted in 2010, the Oil and Gas sector has witnessed tremendous growth in terms of what the Country has been able to draw back and domicile locally.
According to him, prior to the enactment of the act, “out of the about $20 billion, which the Industry spends in its annual activities, less than 3% remained in the country while the rest is taken out, but after the implementation of the Act, about 5% has returned to the country”.
He explained that the aspiration of the Board in terms of its Ten years strategic plan, is to have up to 14 billion dollars out of the about 20 billion dollars domiciled in the country annually.
The critical success factor of the Board, the Executive Secretary pointed out has been the implementation of the Act itself.
“ The Act has been very critical to the success we have achieved.
Prior to now, we practiced what we call poles in terms of local content implementation”
Engineer wabote further disclosed that one of the major impediments for most Nigerians in the Oil and Gas sector was the cost of financing projects which was put at between 15% and 26%.
But working in partnership with the Board he said, the sector came up with the type of facilities that involves a large range of funding up to 10 million US dollars with a single digit interest rate of only 8%.
“ But aside from that we also have a facility for contract financing for those that have short term contracts to access up to $15 million at the rate of 8%.”
Explaining further, Engr. Wabote said for community contractors, they can access up to $20 million with an encouraging interest rate of 5% that can span up to five years.
The Executive Secretary of the Board however, pointed out that the facilities was not a grant or a national cake to share, but strictly for the purpose of business. “For anybody to access the fund, which is been managed by the Bank of Industry, such beneficiary must be a contributor to the fund.
The fund is contributed by contractors that execute business in the oil and gas sector” he said.